Speed governors, GPS must for school buses, says CBSE
The Central Board of Secondary Education has issued comprehensive guidelines on safety of children in school buses on Thursday. Stating that the guidelines "should be scrupulously followed and complied with by all affiliated schools," the Board stated that the management and the head of the school will be held responsible for any lapse which could lead to disaffiliation. The Board has made speed governors with 40 km per hour, GPS and CCTV mandatory for school buses.
The Board divided the guidelines into seven broad categories which include exterior and interior of the bus, manpower and facilities on the bus, permits, arrangements by school authorities and advisory to parents. CBSE in its circular stated that "the recent unfortunate instances reported in the media about callous approach by certain schools with respect to the safety of school children during transit to and from the school have again agitated deep concern regarding the safety of school children.
The time has come to make the schools sensitive to this serious issue and to take proactive remedial measures to ensure that safe transport for school children becomes one of the paramount safety objectives for every CBSE-affilated school." The circular stated that in case of any lapse the school management and the head of the school will have to face "appropriate action including disaffiliation of the school as per the provisions under affiliation bye-laws".
Under the exterior of the bus category, the Board had said that school buses should be painted yellow with the name of the school written prominently on both sides. 'School bus' should be written prominently on the back and front of the vehicle and if it is a hired bus, "On school duty" should be clearly written. The Board also stated that details such as the driver's name, address, licence number, badge number and the telephone number of the school or the bus owner and transport department's helpline numbers should be displayed at prominent places inside and outside the bus in contrast colour.
In the interior of the bus, the Board has made it mandatory for windows to be fitted with horizontal grills and mesh wire, and doors of the bus to be fitted with reliable locks that can be locked. There should be speed governors with maximum speed limit of 40 km per hour. GPS and CCTV arrangements should be made compulsorily in each school bus and have to be installed by the owner of the bus.
The guidelines also require school authorities to provide one mobile phone in each school bus and ensure that the buses are not permitted to overtake any four-wheeler while carrying the school children. Schools have to make arrangements for parking the buses "inside the school campus at the time of boarding and de-boarding." In case parking inside school campus is not possible, the buses should be parked in such a way that they do not create any traffic hazard for other vehicles.
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